Docent Program

Docent Description:

The Visual Arts Center of Richmond offers a comprehensive field trip program called Engage for K-12 schools, as well as adult groups. Engage visits typically include both a gallery tour and a studio workshop, but can be adapted to fit the needs of the visiting audience.

Volunteer Docents are an important resource for the Engage program at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. They are among the first people to directly interact with visitors to our True F. Luck Gallery and they are responsible for sharing with guests that the focus for the gallery is on the materials and processes of contemporary artists.

  • Docents give tours, conduct interactive gallery discussions about artworks and artists, and serve as liaisons during the hands-on workshops that follow tours.
  • Docents are also given the opportunity to work with community outreach programs that frequently visit VisArts.
  • Docents are readily available to answer questions about the current exhibitions and provide background information on featured artists.
  • Docents must be at least 16 years old and pass a background check. They are expected to work a minimum of 4 to 8 hours each week, or two weekend shifts a month.
  • Docents work on a volunteer basis, but experiences can be completed for academic credit or work-study, if applicable. Shift availability depends upon current needs.
  • All VisArts volunteers receive a $10 credit towards an art class for every four hours they volunteer.


  • Excellent communication skills
  • Teaching or public speaking experience
  • The ability to work with diverse groups of children, adults, staff and volunteers
  • Agree to a one-year minimum commitment following training

Responsibilities Upon Completed Training:

  • Conduct weekly tours for children and adults
  • Interpret the gallery’s collections for visitors according to target audience
  • Attend general meetings held throughout the year, which provide continuing education and serve as a forum for dialogue

Training Classes:

Docent training will include study of our exhibitions, learning presentation and teaching skills, methods of interpretation, and touring techniques. The goal is for the docent to be able to read the audience and adjust the tour to meet the needs of each learning group. Docents must interpret the featured collection, covering some standard topics, but also feeling free to express their unique viewpoint and engage conversationally with visitors.

Docent training sessions occur twice weekly over the course of 2 weeks. The next available docent training course runs on April 10 and April 12, 2018. To graduate, you must be able to perform a 30 minute tour on your own. You also cannot miss more than one training session.

Upon training completion, weekday docents must give, at minimum, one tour per week. Weekend and evening docents must give two tours per month. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Submission Details:

If you have questions, please email Nicki Stein at [email protected]

Engage Program Docent Application

  • Thank you for your interest in becoming a docent at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. Our educational programming is integral to our mission of engaging the community in the creative process through the visual arts. To apply, please submit the application form below and attach a resume.
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